Automobile trips are attractive, because they are not connected to transport hubs, railway stations and airports. They give you the possibility of changing plans directly on the road. But there are some features traveler should be prepared to.
When thinking about the car trip, one wants to find as new car as possible, to provide it with technical examination, to serve it and to predict some nuances in case of malfunction. This is how it should be in one’s ideal trip.
The reality is not so good in most cases. And this is something we all can understand.
In 2017, it is not interesting to travel by voucher in which everything is already planned. There is a cellphone interned, a car, a wish to see new places, and some inspiring road-movies behind one’s back. There is no reason to refuse your will to get into a car and to go where heart leads you.
A car is good because of the possibility to stop any moment in order to breathe some fresh air, or to visit a place of interest where public transport does not go. You can change the route every day and choose where to go next as locals recommend you. You can wait for the bad weather to get out, or you can go to sunny places at once. It is possible to choose the optimal route due to new circumstances. Plus, travelling by car with friends is cheaper than buying tickets.
Still, impressed travelers are rare to speak about problems that could wait them on the road. Let’s fill in this missing part in the article.
When you’ll certainly know how many days and money you are ready to spend on a trip, determine your goal: to pass an interesting route or to get to the destination as soon as possible; which places you want to see and so on. Take the map, mark the places where you want to go, and connect them into a route, choosing main roads where possible.
Several people in a car means several looks onto the trip. Someone gets tired really fast and doesn’t like to be in a company of unfamiliar persons; others go somewhere to spend time with locals. Everyone needs different levels of living comfort. Financial possibilities are not the same as well. Discuss it all while being “on the shore”.
Don’t be too sure in yourself. After spending 500 miles behind the wheel, you are more probably to go to sleep, not to walk around. Don’t put new records, just give yourself some additional hours to get the point.
While getting ready, take into account time for unexpected stops which will obligatory happen, no matter how ideal was your route. Don’t overestimate yourself, it is better to cover less distance, but to get more impressions.
You can form a list of 100+ places of interest you want to see, and to visit a half of them actually because of your schedule and your will to keep up to it. You can plan your trip on 60 days, and then to add 15 more when planning a route. In the end of the trip you’ll probably spend 80+ days on the road, and you won’t be enough. It is never enough when to talk about travels.
500 kilometers a day will be an optimal distance limit. Cover 800 km if needed, but leave the next day for visiting places at the destination point in that case. When there are two drivers in a car, possibilities widen, but nobody is able to cheat on time.
When choosing between a paper map and a mobile service while thinking on a route, the electronic one should be the priority. Still, GPS maps can be wrong, too. When there is a choice of Google Maps, Maps.me and other electronic services, choose the one with the latest updated database.
Or even get two different apps and save the map into your device’s memory in order not to be dependent on the online connection. When travelling through unfamiliar cities (especially in foreign countries), you better use the navigator then guess where to turn on your own.
Spare wheel, rope, fire extinguisher, jack, reflective vest and tool kit: these are to be nearby. Technical maintenance of the car is needed to be provided before you leave.
Even experienced and attentive drivers get into road accidents sometimes. First aid kit is for such cases, not for police checks.
If there is someone with any chronic illness in a car, everyone from your company has to know about this fact in order to be able to give first aid or to call ambulance if it is needed.
Find the adequate place to spend the night in any location where you plan to stay for a day or longer. This is to be done before leaving as well. You will be able to change your decision on the road later. Meta searchers are designed to offer free booking or booking denial.
If talking about the company of few people, it is better to find a hostel or an apartment. One place for several persons is cheaper than two-three rooms for two. Don’t forget about couchsurfing, though it will be difficult to find a place for a company if you haven’t used this possibility ever before.
And yes, put a tent and camping accessories into the boot. But you shouldn’t spend your night nearly the highway with a high traffic.
Local road rules differ from country to country even on the territory of the European Union. Learn the special issues of road rules for every country you plan to visit, and don’t forget about paid roads. There are such highways in Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy etc. Take into account them all so the additional fee for the path wasn’t something unexpected.
Local working schedule can be the reason to correct your trip, too. Cafes, camping and guest houses can be closed due to their special schedule, or be crowded & sold out.
The most obvious advice for travelers, though not for those who leave by car.
Taking everything with you is not a necessary principle, because there are people who travel with their cars being overloaded with things. Take as many clothes as if you’d travel by plane or bus, and a bit more food. The exclusion: camping accessories. Who knows, where will you have to stop?